10 aprile 2016
Sonoma, 9 April 2016 - Dark clouds and constant precipitation could never dampen the excitement of 34 458 Challenge EVOs surpassing the elevation changes and overtaking sections at Sonoma Raceway. From the morning's arrival at the circuit to the departures after the podium celebrations, the drivers, teams, and fans braved the inclement weather with splendor. Because of the rain-soaked conditions on the track, the qualifying session for Race 1 was cancelled, therefore arranging the starting grid based on current driver standings.
Trofeo Pirelli. Following two consecutive victories in Daytona at the start of the season, the reigning North American champion from Ferrari Quebec, Emmanuel Anassis, found himself leading the pack from start to finish. But the race to the finish line was not one with a lack of competition. Anassis would find himself tete-a-tete with Carlos Kauffmann (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale) on more than one occasion. And chasing Kauffmann with nearly a three tenths of a second gap was the young Gregory Romanelli (The Collection). The trio would push one another throughout the 35-minute race to reach the luscious victory. Ultimately Kauffmann and Romanelli would finish second and third respectively. Anassis would clock the fastest lap at 1:54:983.
Pirelli AM. And just like Anassis, Steve Johnson (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale) would stand on the highest podium steps for the third consecutive time this season. His steadfast approach throughout the race brought him to a clear victory in his class. Patrice Brisebois (Ferrari Quebec) ever so fervently tried to overtake Johnson for the lead, but the opportune moment ceased to open. He would finish second today. The other Romanelli brother, Arthur (The Collection) finished third, a two position jump in his class from the start of the race.
Coppa Shell. Joe Courtney (Miller Motor Cars) continues to progress in his driving achievements by adding another win to his curriculum. He played quite a fair dance beside Chris Caganazzi (Ferrari of Long Island), especially when it came to the hard breaking point of turn 9 where there's always a great amount of potential overtaking. Courtney would take the victory for his Coppa Shell class and Cagnazzi finish second. However, the greatest delight was seeing rookie Rob Hodes of Ferrari of Newport Beach finish in third place after starting only his second round of the season. Hodes shared a great smile, celebrating his podium finish with his family and friends in the winner's circle.
The racing action continues tomorrow with the second race of the weekend going green at 2:30 PM PDT.